Venus Optics unveils Laowa 9mm F2.8 Zero-D lens for mirrorless APS-C cameras

Venus Optics has officially announced the Laowa 9mm F2.8 Zero-D lens: the “world’s widest F2.8 lens for APS-C mirrorless cameras.” Featuring a 113° angle of view, fast F2.8 aperture, and a Zero-D design that promises “close to zero” distortion, the 9mm (13mm equivalent) lens promises to deliver ‘extreme’ specs in a portable package that weighs just 215g.

The Laowa 9mm F2.8 Zero-D is the third lens in Laowa’s Zero-D lineup, and like the others it promises “close to zero” distortion despite its ultra-wide angle focal length. This is achieved using an optical design of 15 lens elements in 10 groups, including 2 aspherical elements and 3 extra-low dispersion elements.

From the press release:

The extreme 113° angle of view and ultra-fast f/2.8 aperture allows photographers to create impressive astro-photography shots with ease. It also gives photographers a fast and wide-angle option for landscape photography and low-light shooting.

The Laowa 9mm F2.8 Zero-D is designed for APS-C mirrorless cameras, and will ship in Fuji X, Sony E, and Canon EOS-M mounts starting in “early April,” at a suggested retail price of $500 USD. Scroll through the gallery below to see a few official sample photos from Venus Optics, then head over to the Venus Optics website to learn more or pre-order one for yourself.

Press Release

Venus Optics announces the Laowa 9mm f/2.8 Zero-D, the World’s Widest f/2.8 Lens for APS-C Mirrorless Cameras

Featuring a 113° Angle of View, Ultra-fast f/2.8 aperture, close-to-zero distortion, 49mm filter thread & less than 0.5 pounds in weight, this is a perfect ultra-wide option for still & videographers.

Anhui China, Mar 21, 2018 – Venus Optics, the camera lenses manufacturer who had previously launched a number of unique Laowa camera lenses, is proud to announce the world’s widest rectilinear f/2.8 lens → continue…

From:: DPreview

The Android-only LyfieEye200 is ‘the world’s smallest VR/AR camera’

eCapture Technologies has launched a new version of the LyfieEye mobile camera on crowdfunding website Indiegogo. Called LyfieEye200, this model is being dubbed “the world’s smallest 360° VR/AR camera,” and offers a bunch of neat AR/VR features for Android users who want to get more mileage out of their smartphone photography adventures.

The LyfieEye200 was designed for Android smartphones, and adds 1440p support in addition to the original model’s 1080p resolution. The removable camera plugs directly into a smartphone’s USB-C port, where a pair of greater-than-180° FOV fisheye lenses work together to enable both 360° image/video capture and 360° livestreaming.

To make the magic happen, the camera works in conjunction with the LyfieView200 Android companion app on devices running Android 5.0 or newer. And if you want even more creative possibilities, eCapture offers both the LyfieStroll and LyfieRoam apps for creating simple VR and AR content, respectively. Finally, the camera is also compatible with PCs running Windows 7 or higher, but it does not support iOS.

The LyfieEye200 is available now on Indiegogo, where backers can ‘reserve’ theirs by pledging at least $90 USD. Shipments to backers are expected to start in June, assuming the campaign reaches full funding and doesn’t pull a KitSentry.

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From:: DPreview

Novoflex TrioPod PRO75 modular tripod can handle ‘immense load’

Novoflex has announced an expansion of its TrioPod tripod product line with the launch of the TrioPod PRO75 model. This is a high-capacity advanced spider tripod, according to Novoflex, which claims that the PRO75 model can be used “for even the heaviest photo and video equipment.”

Novoflex explains that its new PRO75 tripod is constructed with 8-layered carbon fiber legs alongside reinforced components. Buyers have a choice between three or four-section carbon fiber legs, as well as a pair of mini legs. The PRO75 model also supports existing TrioPod legs.

The PRO base by itself will run you over $880 USD.

The TrioPod PRO75 model can support a maximum load of 65kg / 143lbs and has a total of seven leg lock positions at 23-, 43-, 45-, 65-, 87-, 155-, and 180-degrees. The tripod is made with a high level of versatility in mind, offering support for most 75mm accessories and both 1/4″ and 3/8″ connections, a removable base plate for using a leveling ball, and a self-locking geared center column.

Of course, all of these capabilities are going to cost you a pretty penny. The TrioPod PRO75 base alone, without legs, costs a whopping $885.28. Add 3-section carbon fibre legs (plus 2 mini legs) to the kit and you’re looking at $1,476.64, while a set of 4-section legs by themselves will run you $663.52.

To find out more about the TrioPod PRO75 lineup or order some bits and pieces for yourself, head over to the Novoflex website.

Press Release

Introducing the NOVOFLEX TrioPod PRO75

The new Modular Tripod of choice for discerning professionals looking for the sturdiest, modular support solution.

For almost four years, the NOVOFLEX TrioPod tripod collection has been lauded as the most innovative tripod → continue…

From:: DPreview

‘I’m Back’ digital back for analog SLRs successfully returns to Kickstarter

Last year, a Kickstarter project for a product called ‘I’m Back’ offered a digital back for 35mm film cameras, but it wasn’t successful. Now, the product has relaunched on the crowdfunding platform, where it has successfully raised (and exceeded) its €20,000 (~$25,000 USD) funding goal. As with other digital back products, “I’m Back” claims to transform an analog film camera into a hybrid that can capture digital images.

‘I’m Back’ is billed as a low-cost alternative to other digital back products, one that offers a 16MP Panasonic sensor with options to capture images starting at a 2MP resolution. The system works by capturing images off the device’s focusing screen, which results in “the nice vintage flavor of your 35mm camera,” according to the product’s creator.

The digital back also features a 2-inch touchscreen display, Wi-Fi for image transfers, and mobile control via smartphone. Other features include HDMI, USB, a 128GB microSD card for storage, a NOVATEK 96660 processor, and rechargeable battery.

According to the Kickstarter page, ‘I’m Back’ is directly compatible with many 35mm analog cameras, including multiple models from Nikon, Canon, Olympus, Pentax, Yashica, Leica, and Contax. However, a universal adapter accessory enables the digital back to be used with nearly any 35mm camera, including the Lomography Diana seen in the photo above.

‘I’m Back’ has raised nearly €29,000 (~$35,500 USD) on Kickstarter so far. Interested buyers can back the project with pledges starting at €225 (~$277 USD) for the ‘Pro’ kit, with global shipping to backers estimated to start in September of 2018. For more info, or to put down your own pledge, visit the Kickstarter page here.

And if you’re curious what DPReview thinks of these digital conversion products, → continue…

From:: DPreview

Venus Optics officially launches the Laowa 25mm F2.8 2.5-5X Ultra Macro

About a week ago, Venus Optics‘ Japanese parent company Sightron announced two new lenses: the Laowa 9mm F2.8 Zero-D and 25mm F2.8 2.5-5x Ultra Macro. And while the 9mm F2.8 Zero-D still hasn’t made its way onto the English language Venus Optics site yet, today did see the official announcement of the strange Laowa 25mm F2.8 2.5-5x Ultra Macro.

Nothing has changed about the lens’ design since last week’s debut: the 25mm F2.8 2.5-5x Ultra Macro is still made from 8 elements in 6 groups—including an ultra low dispersion lens and multilayer coating on each element—which allow for a max working distance of 40 mm (5x) to 45 mm (2.5x). Ultimately, this lens was designed to be as portable as possible, as this comparison between it and the Canon MP-E 65mm F2.8 1-5x Macro demonstrates:

Size comparison: Laowa 25mm F2.8 2.5-5x Ultra Macro vs Canon MP-E 65mm F2.8 1-5x

The Venus Optics Laowa 25mm F2.8 2.5-5x Ultra Macro will be available starting in March for the price of $400 USD. You can also purchase an optional tripod collar ($30), Micro Four Thirds adapter ($30), or Fuji X mount adapter ($30).

For more information, if you’d like to pre-order your own, or if you want to scroll through a series of official sample images, head over to the Venus Optics website.

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From:: DPreview

Atech unveils Blackjet VX-1C CFast 2.0 media reader

Atech Flash Technology, a manufacturer of digital storage solutions aimed at professionals, has launched a new premium line of products under the ‘Blackjet’ brand, starting with the VX-1C CFast 2.0 card reader.

The new model plugs into desktop or laptop computers via a USB 3.1 Gen 2 connection, allowing for a 1,000 MB/s bandwidth and data transfer from even very fast cards at maximum speed. And thanks to that connector, the Blackjet VX-1C is compatible with current Mac and Windows Thunderbolt 3 machines.

The unit features a metal enclosure for durability and a number of vent holes for improved heat dissipation. Thanks to its support for fast transfer rates, the Blackjet VX-1C looks like a particularly interesting option for videographers. It is shipping now and retails at $100.

More information is available on the Atech Flash website.

Press Release


Fremont, CA – February 28, 2018 – Atech Flash Technology (AFT) manufacturers of industrial and professional media card readers and storage solutions will be launching their new premium line of products under the Blackjet brand. Their latest CFast 2.0 media reader named the Blackjet™ VX-1C.

Blackjet VX-1C utilizes the larger bandwidth 1,000 MB/s of USB 3.1 Gen 2, which allows you to ingest, edit and archive your creative content from your media cards at their maximum speeds. Blackjet VX-1C utilizes the USB-C interface which allows it to be compatible with existing Mac® and Windows® Thunderbolt™ 3 computers.

Pricing and Availability

The Blackjet VX-1C will have a suggested MSRP of $99 USD and is currently shipping.

Key Features

  • Media Reader for CFast 2.0 media cards

  • USB 3.1 Gen 2 provides speeds up to 10Gbps

  • Reversible USB Type-C connector makes connections
    much easier and quicker

  • Ingest footage with speeds up to 525 MB/s*

  • Rugged metal enclosure to ensure durability → continue…

    From:: DPreview

SanDisk reveals ‘world’s fastest’ UHS-I microSD memory card

At Mobile World Congress 2018, Western Digital introduced a new Extreme 400GB A2 microSDXC card that officially tips the scales as the world’s fastest UHS-I microSD memory card. According to the WD—which is launching the card under the SanDisk brand it acquired in 2016—the new Extreme 400GB microSDXC offers read speeds up to 160MB/s and write speeds up to 90MB/s, making it over 50% faster than current UHS-I Extreme microSD cards.

The new Extreme 400GB microSDXC card has UHS Speed Class 3 (U3) and Video Speed Class 30 (V30) ratings, making it ideal for uninterrupted 4K Ultra HD video recording, among other things, says Western Digital. As with other Extreme-branded SD cards, this new model is durable across multiple fronts, including being water-, dust-, x-ray-, temperature-, and shock-proof.

Western Digital currently lists the Extreme 400GB A2 microSDXC card on its SanDisk website without availability and price details; however, Tom’s Hardware reports that the card will cost $300 USD.

Press Release

Western Digital Transforms the Mobile Experience with New High-Performance Solutions Designed to Address Today’s and Tomorrow’s Consumer Demand for High-Quality Content

At MWC 2018, company releases world’s fastest UHS-I microSD card, and reveals future of flash memory cards with PCIe enabled SD card demonstration.

MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS, BARCELONA, Feb. 26, 2018 – As mobile content and applications grow increasingly sophisticated, Western Digital Corporation (NASDAQ: WDC) is transforming the mobile experience with new industry-leading mobile solutions designed to enable consumers to better capture, share and enjoy rich content on their devices. At Mobile World Congress, the company is releasing the world’s fastest UHS-I flash memory card, the 400GB1 SanDisk Extreme® UHS-I microSDXCTM card, and demonstrating the future of flash memory card technology with Peripheral Component Interconnect Express (PCIe)-enabled cards, designed to deliver the performance required → continue…

From:: DPreview

Asus unveils ZenFone 5Z with wide-angle dual-cam and AI camera

Asus has been one of the last manufacturers to unveil their new devices at this year’s Mobile World Congress, but looking at the newly announced Zenfone 5Z, it seems the wait has been worthwhile.

The Taiwanese manufacturer’s new flagship model comes with premium specs all around, including Qualcomm’s latest and greatest chipset Snapdragon 845 and an iPhone X-style almost bezel-less 6.2″ display with “camera notch” and FHD+ resolution. 8GB RAM, 128GB of expandable storage, and a 3,300 mAh battery complete an impressive spec sheet.

But the ZenFone 5Z is not only about processing power and big screens, it’s also got a lot to offer in the camera department. The main camera features a 12MP 1/2.55″ Sony IMX363 Sensor and a lens with 25mm equivalent focal length and fast F1.8 aperture.

3-axis optical image stabilization and Dual-Pixel AF are on board as well. In video mode, the Zenfone 5Z can record 4K footage at 30 frames per second, and the secondary camera comes with a 120-degree super-wide-angle lens and 8MP pixel count—similar to what we’ve seen on recent LG models such as the G6 or V30.

On the software side of things, the 5Z camera offers an HDR night mode and an AI-powered automatic scene mode selector that is capable of learning user preferences.

All of the aforementioned components are wrapped up in a sleek-looking glass-covered body, and if the ZenFone 5Z performs as well as it looks, it could be one of the most compelling smartphone options in 2018.

That’s especially true when considering its price point. In Europe, the Asus ZenFone 5Z will retail at 600 Euros (approximately $735 USD) which is a good chunk less expensive than similarly specced models from the more → continue…

From:: DPreview